The Bigger Picture: A Big Win on a Day of Remembrance
With blue skies overhead and cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd, the University of Virginia football team defeated the University of Illinois 42-14 Saturday afternoon. It was the first meeting between Virginia and the Big Ten’s Fighting Illini since 1999. Cavaliers quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw for 405 yards and five touchdowns.
The game, played on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, was themed “Heroes Day.” There were moments throughout the game honoring the military as well as first responders, including a flag ceremony at halftime and a remembrance of Lt. Paul R. Fridley, a UVA alumnus and Navy pilot who was killed in a helicopter crash near San Diego on Aug. 31.
Just before kickoff, Capt. Chelsea Bailey, a 2012 UVA aerospace engineering graduate, led a U.S. Air Force F-22 flyover. Capt. Nate Jewell, a 2016 graduate of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, served as wingman. As UVA students, both belonged to Air Force ROTC Detachment 890.
While at the University, Bailey also sang alto in the University Singers. On Saturday, the University Singers performed the national anthem before the game, just before Bailey led the F-22 ceremony.
“As a mentor (and I think also for the students), it was quite dramatic to be singing the anthem and get to the last chord just as one of our own flew over,” said Michael Slon, professor and director of choral music at UVA.